Visiting Oslo on a Budget: Things to do, see, and eat

Norway is expensive. Living is expensive, doing things is expensive, going out is expensive, except there are some things to do that aren’t so bad. They mostly involve looking at things outside. If you want through doors it will cost you.. If you’re coming to Oslo just for a weekend, get the Oslo Pass. It includes transit and gives you entry to almost all the museums.

These things are only really fitting when it’s not raining because no one wants to walk around looking at things outside if it’s not a decent day out, but here are some things to do if you’re trying to save some cash.

The Opera House

I was pretty blown away by this building. You can walk on the roof; there’s a nice view of the water, the ferries, and the pier. I think you can look inside for free too, but I didn’t. The architecture is amazing, my only question is how do they keep the roof so goddam white? Phenomenal.

Aker Brygge

You can walk around the pier and look at all the boats you can’t afford. The ferry also leaves from here. There are usually food trucks, some fancy looking restaurants, and the Nobel Peace Centre.

Hollmenkollen

Holmenkollen
Holmenkollen- ski jump

This place holds 70 thousand spectators and held the 1952 Winter Olympics. It’s a very beautiful train ride, not long from the city, and there’s a cafe, a museum and a ski jump simulator. If you keep walking, there’s a roller ski track, and then you find the smaller ski jump, and then the baby ski jumps that I guess they learn on, and honestly the one we were sitting at the top of still looked terrifying. Directly across from the big jump, there’s the trolls! I think the trolls were 80% of the reason I wanted to go up here… But everything here was definitely well worth it.

Karl Johan’s Gate

The walking/shopping street- only free if you have self control around stores. People watching is always free though. Also, the best kebab place we could find is close by. It’s called Dronningens Kebab. They do this thing with their onions, 10/10 recommend. 

Akershus Fortress 

This is a medieval castle that was built to protect Oslo, and has also been used as a royal residential palace and as a prison. It’s another place you can walk around and look at things for free. There’s a restaurant and the resistance museum is here; also a good spot to find dogs to pet.

Mathallen Food Hall

We all know how much I enjoy grocery stores, and this place is paradise to me. So many specialty shops and cafes to look at. I can easily go here and spend a while looking at things, all the food looks amazing. Lots of local things are sold, and not just food.

We cook almost every night because it’s cheaper to buy groceries than go out (duh). To go out for a beer you’ll find yourself paying double what you’d pay in Vancouver, and honestly, the cheapest place to get a beer seems to be Starbucks, or the Stargate. But I don’t recommend the Stargate, it’s by far the sketchiest dive bar I’ve ever experienced. If you’re really struggling, just go to IKEA for food. It’s dirt cheap just like Canada, and who doesn’t love hot dogs and froyo?

The Vigeland Park

The Vigeland Park, is the world’s largest sculpture park made by one artist, Gustav Vigeland. There are more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron, and I couldn’t even count how many dogs I saw here. It was magical, and also free. I will not lie, these sculptures made me a bit uncomfortable. Art is weird, but this park was a nice place to waste an afternoon.

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oslo on a budget

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